Pakistan: Wheat growers demonstrate across country for start of procurement drive

Source:  The Nation

Wheat growers held demonstrations in 30 districts across the country on Tuesday demanding start of procurement drive and arrest of those involved in the scam committed during the interim set up.

The demonstrations were held on the call of the Pakistan Kisan Rabita Committee.

In Punjab, farmers gathered Lahore, Multan, Bahawalpur, Vehari, Jhang, Pakpattan, Chiniot, Kasur, Khanewal, Bahawalnagar, Dera Ghazi Khan, Burewala, Chishtian and Jampur.

In Sindh, the growers took came out on streets in Karachi, Shikarpur, Nawabshah, Qamber, Shahdadkot, Nowshehru Feroze, Mirpurkhas, Dadu, Sanghar and Shahpur Chakar.

In Balochistan, protests were held in Quetta and Jhal Magsi, and in Peshawar and Mardan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In Lahore, hundreds of farmers, including men, women and youth, assembled in front of the Punjab Assembly on The Mall. They demanded the Punjab government to immediately begin wheat procurement.

Addressing the demonstrators, committee general secretary Farooq Tariq presented the charter of demands of the farmers which included immediate start of purchase of wheat from farmers; arrest of those involved in import before harvest season; market regulation to ensure fair price of each produce; withdrawal of grain import policy for private sector; minimum support price for all crops; rejection of ‘neoliberal’ and ‘anti-farmer’ policies of the International Monetary Fund; compensation for farmers affected by the scandal; and strict action against those lending money to small farmers on interest.

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